Summer is a time for outdoor fun. Pool parties, family reunions, holiday get-togethers, and most other summer gatherings end up being partially if not completely outside. When it comes time to feed the crowd, a grill is going to be one of the most efficient ways to do it. However, there are some safety risks that come with your perfectly grilled burgers and hotdogs; and they’ve got more to do with the flames than any undercooked food.
Let’s face some real facts. From 2013-2017, grills were the cause of an average of 19,000 injuries. Half of those were thermal burns from fire and from contact with hot objects. The majority of these accidents are caused by people bumping or falling into the hot surface or flames, and about 38% of those people are children. It has also has been determined that July is the peak month for grill injuries. Gas grills cause about 8,700 home fires per year, which is the sum of 3,600 structure fires and 5,100 outdoor fires. Charcoal or other solid-fueled grill caused nearly 1,100 home fires per year - 600 structure fires and 500 outside fires.
Needless to say, grilled require a special amount of care and safety. The following tips should help with that.
- Grill outside and away from any structures
- Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only. However, NFPA reports that a good portion of home fires started by outdoor grills began in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and many others were started on an exterior balcony or open porch.
- Pay attention to overhanging tree branches when you set up your grill as well.
- Make sure your grill is stable
- Grills belong on flat surfaces so as to prevent them from being tipped over. Consider using a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your grill to protect your deck or patio from anything that might fall off or out of the grill.
- Check for propane leaks on your gas grill
- At the start of grilling season, check the gas tank hose for leaks. You can apply a light soap and water solution to the hose which will bubble when you turn on the gas if there is a leak. You can also check for the smell of gas or a flame that won’t light.
- If the flame goes out, wait to re-light
- (Gas Grills) If the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.
- Take care around the grill
- Never leave a lit grill unattended. Don’t allow kids or pets to play near the grill. Never try to move a lit or hot grill (grills will stay hot for at least an hour).
- Be careful with charcoal starter fluid or consider using a charcoal chimney starter, which uses newspaper to start the fire instead of starter fluid.
- Be sure your shirt tails, sleeves, etc don’t dangle over the grill. Wear safe clothing.
- Be ready to put out the fire
- Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires (a bucket of sand is the next best thing). NEVER use water.
By following these safety tips, you can feel a little safer knowing that you have prepared for the unexpected. That’s the best thing you can do for the safety of your home and for your family. We hope that you have a fun and safe summer!
If you do experience damages from a grill fire, you can always contact one of our SERVPRO® franchises to help clean and restore your property.
SERVPRO® North Central Tazewell County | 309-346-5600
SERVPRO® of Peoria | 309-637-7300
SERVPRO® of Galesburg and Macomb | 309-342-0073